Memphis, TN -- It passed, but is a new City of Memphis non-discrimination law legal? The Memphis City Council passed the controversial ordinance, which includes protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.
City Council Attorney Allan Wade says he worried the council changed too much at the last minute, opening the city up to possible lawsuits.
"Effectively a citizen might say, I wasn't given ample notice that you were going to add sexual orientation and gender identity, and that's the problem." Wade said after the vote.
After more than a month delay, the Council voted 9-4 to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the city's non-discrimination policy, joining National Origin, Ethnicity, Age, and Disability.
The debate in council chambers at time got heated.
"I don't curse, but if I did, I would say this is a bunch of bull." said councilwoman Janis Fullilove.
"If your house was on fire, and there were fire fighters who were gay, would you turn them away and say don't save me let me burn in my house." she added.
"I don't want to walk anywhere and see two mans hugging, two man's kissing." said Larry Hunter as many in the packed council chamber groaned.
After the vote, Minister Kenneth Van Buren lead about a dozen people in a prayer circle outside council chambers.
"We pray for those city council men that have failed to do their job." Van Buren said.
The revised ordinance is set to become law in 2 weeks. It only covers the City of Memphis and not private companies within city limits.